Unlike gasoline cars, Teslas use energy stored in the battery packs to power the electric motor. Accordingly, if you are considering making the switch to an electric vehicle, one of the main concerns that you may have is the type of coolant that these vehicles use to optimize thermal management.
Tesla uses G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant (HOAT), which controls the battery’s temperature, optimizing both the life and performance of the car’s battery.
In this article, I will explore the specifications of Tesla’s coolant, explain how it facilitates effective heat dissipation to prolong battery life and improve performance, and compare this coolant to antifreeze. So, let’s get into it.
How Does the Tesla Cooling System Work?
The Tesla cooling system works because it distributes the G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant mixture across the battery pack, allowing heat transfer from the lithium-ion battery cells to a refrigeration cycle to prevent overheating.
Because Teslas with the 2170 and 18650 batteries have thousands of cells in the battery pack, cooling these cells effectively poses a challenge.
Tesla cooling systems don’t just keep your battery from overheating. They also protect your battery from freezing.
This system is fantastic for Tesla owners since most EV batteries don’t function well when they are too cool or warm. So, Tesla’s cooling system ensures that you always get the most out of your battery.
For more about how this process works, I recommend watching the video below, which explains the cooling system on the Tesla Model 3:
Aside from optimizing the thermal management process, Tesla coolant also presents several other benefits, such as:
- The ethylene-glycol mixture protects your battery pack from freeze-ups during cold weather.
- This mixture protects your battery against boil-ups and overheating during recharging.
- The Tesla coolant prevents corrosion on battery packs after exposure to heat or moisture.
How Often Will You Need To Change the Coolant in Your Tesla?
In most cases, you will not need to replace the battery coolant in your Tesla over the vehicle’s lifetime.
You only need to replace the coolant in your Tesla if its quality drops below the recommended level, following which you should get a warning message on the instrument panel. If this happens, contact Tesla.
In most cases, you will never need to replace the battery coolant. However, suppose you get the warning message that the quantity of fluid in the car’s cooling system has gone below the recommended threshold. In that case, all you need to do is to contact the manufacturer.
You do not need to change the coolant yourself. I recommend not changing the coolant yourself because you risk voiding your warranty if you open the coolant reservoir.
Tesla also recommends that you not top up the battery coolant yourself because the mixture can cause skin or eye irritation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Antifreeze in a Tesla?
Unlike gasoline and diesel vehicles, Teslas don’t have radiators and thus do not need antifreeze. Antifreeze only protects your radiator against cracking when the water freezes.
What Are The Differences Between Tesla Coolant and Antifreeze?
Tesla coolant is made from ethylene glycol and protects the battery from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze only protects your radiator from freezing temperatures.
|Made of ethylene-glycol combination mixed with water.||Made of propylene glycol or ethylene glycol as the base ingredient (no water).|
|It has a freezing point below zero and thus protects against freezing at -30º F (-34º C).||It has a freezing point of zero and does not offer protection against freezing.|
|Raises the boiling point to 223º F (106º C) and higher, protecting against boil-ups and overheating.||It does not protect against boil-ups.|
|Tesla’s coolant is a specific blend of ethylene glycol and water, which is expensive but effective. That makes it costlier than antifreeze, but it also lasts longer.||Most antifreeze products are a base mixture of propylene glycol or ethylene glycol. Although propylene glycol is expensive, most antifreeze products do not use a specific blend, making them more affordable.|
|Only used to cool battery packs in electric motor engines.||Used exclusively in gasoline and diesel engines. You cannot use antifreeze in EVs.|
EV Speedy’s Take
The unique coolant blend used in Teslas is also effective in protecting the battery packs against freezing when the weather reaches sub-zero temperatures while minimizing the chances of damage from corrosion.
Accordingly, this mixture optimizes your battery’s performance and life, meaning you have little to worry about during your car’s lifetime. Better still, if the coolant falls below the recommended threshold – which it rarely does – all you have to do is contact Tesla, and they will fix this for you.
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